Bloodstock Bites: Super Sire

  • By: Chris Hill
  • Last Updated: December 16 2013, 8:10 GMT

French-bred horses dominated the Grade One National Hunt races on offer last weekend courtesy of the victories of Sire de Grugy (My Risk) and Hinterland (Poliglote) at Sandown last Saturday and Arvika Ligeonniere (Arvico) triumphing at Punchestown on Sunday.

Sire De Grugy: A first top level success for him and his trainer
Sire De Grugy: A first top level success for him and his trainer

Whilst Sire de Grugy's comfortable Tingle Creek victory was a first success at the top level for both the horse and his trainer Gary Moore, it maintained the strangle hold that French-breds have held on the Sandown Park Grade One with a seventh win in the race in the space of eight years following the successes of Kauto Star, Master Minded, Twist Magic and last season's victor, Sprinter Sacre.

Out of Hirlish (Passing Sale), an unraced half-sister to the Listed Grand Steeplechase de Loire Atlantique winner Orlando Magic (Assessor), Sire de Grugy is a half-brother to three other jumps winners including the Listed Prix Alain du Breil Chase third Nassor de Grugy (Assessor) with the seven year-old gelding hailing from the family of French black-type winning chasers Oteiul (Djarvis), French Kankan (Sharken) and Okaido (Assessor), as well as the Ascot Listed United House Handicap Chase winner Hot Shots (Passing Sale).

Haras de Victot resident My Risk, a four-time Group Three winner in France for Jean-Marie Beguine, is perhaps best known as a Flat sire being responsible for the Grand Prix de Vichy winner No Risk At All and Prix des Reservoirs-Haras d'Etreham winner Barouda, though with Sire de Grugy having now a top level success to go with Grade Two victories in the 2011 Dovecote Novices' Hurdle and last season's Celebration Chase it surely won't be too long until his next black-type winning jumps performer comes along.

The Paul Nicholls-trained Hinterland (Poliglote) initiated the French-bred Grade One double at Sandown with victory in the Henry VIII Novices' Chase under Daryl Jacob, a race he finished runner up in last year. A full brother to the Listed Prix Magne Hurdle runner-up Lofte Place (Poliglote) being out of the four-time winner Queen Place (Diamond Prospect), Hinterland is also closely related to Phar Bleu (Agent Bleu), a winner of Chepstow's Grade One Finale Juvenile Hurdle back in 2004.

Though Poliglote has produced plenty of Flat black-type winners headed by last year's Arc heroine Solemia, it is over obstacles that his progeny have tended to excel. Following Hinterland's maiden Grade One triumph, the Haras d'Etreham resident has now been responsible for six individual Grade One winning jumpers including Jonjo O'Neill's Tolworth Hurdle winner Lingo and the 2010 Prix Ferdinand Defaure Chase winner Saint du Chenet. Nicholls in particular has done well with offspring of the 2004 Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner with the three-time Grade Two winner Wonderful Charm and the Grade Two winning hurdler Far West being stablemates of Saturday's novice Grade One victor.

"Though Poliglote has produced plenty of Flat black-type winners headed by last year's Arc heroine Solemia, it is over obstacles that his progeny have tended to excel. Nicholls in particular has done well with offspring of the 2004 Criterium de Saint-Cloud winner ."

In a John Durkan Memorial Punchestown Chase on Sunday that started with only the three runners - all French-breds - and lost much of its lustre with Sir des Champs (Robin des Champs) exiting early in the race, the Ruby Walsh ridden Arvika Ligeonniere (Arvico) put in a very accomplished jumping display to comfortably see off last year's winner Rubi Light (Network) and in the process record a fourth Grade One victory.

Willie Mullins' eight year-old is a half-brother to four other winners including the Grade Two Grand Steeplechase d'Enghien and Grade Three Prix Juigne Hurdle winner Darastan (Dastaan), being out of the unplaced French mare Daraka (Akarad) who is herself out of a winning sister to the two-time French Listed Flat winner Black Dancer (Fabulous Dancer).

Arvico, who stands at Vauterhill Stud in Devon alongside With The Flow, was a winner over both codes in his native France and other than Arvika Ligeonniere has been represented at black-type level by the Listed Prix Violon II Chase runner-up Startling du Magny.

Over in Hong Kong it was a couple of former British and Irish campaigners who took the honours in the Hong Kong Cup and Hong Kong Vase with Akeed Mofeed (Dubawi) and Dominant (Cacique) ensuring the Group Ones remained on home soil.

Akeed Mofeed (Dubawi) was formerly trained in Ireland by John Oxx to land the Listed Platinum Stakes, finish runner-up in the Group Two Beresford Stakes and a fourth placed finish behind Camelot in last year's Irish Derby, before being sold privately to Pan Sutong, whose colours he carried to Hong Kong Cup victory last Sunday.

The only winner to date produced by the unraced German mare Wonder Why (Tiger Hill), a half-sister to the Listed Flat winners Whispered Secret (Selkirk) - who was also a Grade Three Chase winner - and Wells Present (Cadeaux Genereux), Akeed Mofeed is from the further family of Group Three winner Whakilyric (Miswaki), the dam of Group One winners and sires Hernando (Niniski) and Johann Quartz (Sadler's Wells).

"Desert Prince, the sire of last month's Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner My Tent Or Yours and Group One Flat winners Kusi, Mail The Desert and Outback Prince, is on the move for the 2014 season to stand in France."

Akeed Mofeed's sire Dubawi continues to excel at stud for Darley with his maiden Group One victory (although the four year-old did win this year's Listed Hong Kong Derby which is classed as a Group One in Hong Kong) coming the same season as paternal sibling Al Kazeem's three Group One victories achieved in the Eclipse Stakes, Prince of Wales's Stakes and Tattersalls Gold Cup.

Having been purchased by John Warren Bloodstock at the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in 2009 for 95,000 guineas, Roger Varian trained Dominant (Cacique) to win the £150,000 Tattersalls Million Three Year-Old Cup for Highclere's Isinglass racing syndicate and a third place finish in the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes, following which the then three year-old colt was sold privately to a syndicate of Hong Kong trainer John Moore.

Out of Es Que (Inchinor), a winner in France for Freddy Head, Dominant is a half-brother to Mark Johnston's hardy four-time winner and Listed Sandy Lane Stakes runner up Es Que Love (Clodovil) descending from the family of Group Three winners Bellarida (Bellypha), In Clover (Inchinor) and Lily's Angel (Dark Angel).

For Cacique, Juddmonte's two-time Grade One winning stallion whose second career has been affected by low fertility but who has returned to stud duties to cover a limited book of mares, Dominant's Hong Kong Vase success was a second Group One triumph following the victory of Mutual Trust in the 2011 Prix Jean Prat, with both top level winners being from his first crop.

The four-day Arqana Breeding Stock Sale closed last Wednesday with the aggregate of €27,298,500 an increase of almost 32% on the 2012 renewal, whilst the average of €38,352 and median price of €13,000 were improvements on last year's sale of 17% and 8% respectively.

"Akeed Mofeed's sire Dubawi continues to excel at stud for Darley with his maiden Group One victory coming the same season as paternal sibling Al Kazeem's three Group One wins in the Eclipse Stakes, Prince of Wales's Stakes and Tattersalls Gold Cup."

The headline lot proved to be the Aga Khan's two-time placed filly Darysina (Smart Strike), who went to Johnny McKeever of McKeever Bloodstock, on behalf of owner/breeder Dr Philip Brown, for €800,000. Out of the 1999 French Oaks winner Daryaba (Night Shift), the three year-old filly is a half-sister to five winners, most notably the Group One Hong Kong Vase winner Daryakana (Selkirk) and the Group Two Prix du Conseil de Paris winner Daramsar (Rainbow Quest), whilst further back it is the family of the 2006 French Derby winner Darsi (Polish Precedent) and the triple Group One winner Darjina (Zamindar).

The final day of the sale was topped by last year's St James's Palace runner-up and 2000 Guineas third, Hermival (Dubawi) who was purchased by Marc-Antoine Berghgracht for €130,000. The four year-old colt, who was a winner at two and also placed third in the Group Three Prix Djebel, was bought on behalf of the SOREC, the Moroccan Jockey Club, as a stallion prospect and will join Jan Vermeer, Chinchon and Russian Cross who currently stand in the North African country.

Desert Prince, the sire of last month's Grade One Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner My Tent Or Yours and Group One Flat winners Kusi, Mail The Desert and Outback Prince, is on the move for the 2014 season where he will stand at Haras du Thenney in France alongside Cima de Triomphe, Dr Fong, Gentlewave and Orpen.

Old Road Stud in County Waterford will also welcome a new addition for the 2014 season when Mores Wells, a four-time Group Three winner, arrives from his stint at stud in Sweden to take up residence alongside another recent arrival Arctic Cosmos and more established National Hunt sires Cloudings and Witness Box.

Chris Hill

Chris is a Pedigree Researcher for Weatherbys Ltd, the company that provides the majority of pedigrees for thoroughbreds sold at public auction in Britain and Ireland and who offer a range of products and services to suit your Bloodstock needs.

For further information please visit www.weatherbys.co.uk/bloodstock


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